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Fears eased of overtaxed sewage lagoon

Even with work camp effluent, discharges are low

There should be no worries about the District of Houston’s sewage lagoon being able to handle tankers full of effluent from Coastal GasLink’s work camps south of the community.

After concerns were raised by District councillor Troy Euverman in late August that the lagoon’s capacity might be overtaxed should yet more large industrial users want to discharge into Houston’s system, the District’s utility operator and consulting company Urban Systems went over current and historical records.

As of now, the District can discharge a maximum of 3,200 metres per day of effluent from its aerated sewage lagoon system into the Bulkley River under a permit issued by the provincial government.

“Currently, the average daily discharge of effluent for September was reported as 19 per cent of the daily limit with the highest daily discharge for this month reported as 24 per cent of the 3,200 cubic metres limit,” a memo to council from corporate services director Holly Brown stated.

The discharge figures include the volume being pumped into the system by Coastal GasLink’s camps.

The percentage figure was then compared to the volumes from a year ago.

“This is in line with monthly average data for 2020, which is reported as 15 per cent on average with a high of 23 per cent,” Brown’s memo continued.

Council did discuss the situation at its Oct. 19 meeting with the assistance of Jared Halter from Urban Systems.

While there are no agreements with Coastal GasLink as to the volume of sewage it does want to pump into the District system, he told council it is unlikely that there would be any blockages.

District staffers will continue to monitor the outflow volume from Coastal GasLink’s camps.